Prenatal Pilates Series : Stretching & Stress Relief

Hi guys! It's Robin from The Balanced Life Welcome back to your prenatal Pilates series

I put together a series of five workouts to help you take care of your body in little bits every day So we're touching on all body parts and now this routine is going to be about stretching, relaxation, and breathing, which is really, really important during pregnancy It's important all the time, but especially when you're carrying another life You're dealing with a lot of change and you may have some anxiety and nerves surrounding the whole process So for today's routine, all you need is a mat and potentially something to prop yourself up with

So I'm just going to use this box, but you can easily use a stack of blankets or a few pillows or an exercise ball if you have one of those So let's get started Just sit comfortably, legs crossed if that works for you If this is too hard for you right now, prop yourself up Have a seat on some folded blankets or towels and get up off those hips a little bit, that should help

Just rest your hands on your knees, close your eyes, and take a big breath So nice inhaleand a nice big exhale

Good, just taking a minute to transition Take another breath and whatever is bothering you or stressing you out, whatever is on your mind, go ahead and just leave it behind so come to your practice, come to your mat, focus on your body, your baby and what you need right now Good, as you sit here with your eyes closed, breathing steadily and breathing deeply, feel your spine grow longer ceiling, feel your shoulders relax on your back, feel your head resting just on top of your shoulders – not pushing forward, no strain in the neck, just a nice, steady head position

Jaw relaxed Start to feel your abdominals supporting your belly Relax your inner thighs, relax your hips, relax your handsgood, and take two more breaths As you breathe feel your lungs expand, your ribs expand, your belly expandas you exhale, force all the stale air back out of your body, finding more relaxation in the shoulders and the jaw Another inhale, fresh air filling your lungs, filling your ribcage expanding your bodyexhale, tension melting down off of your shoulders, down your arms, and out of your fingertips Good, keeping your eyes closed or opening them if that's more comfortable for you, take your right hand to the mat, take your left arm straight up, inhaleexhale, lift up and over, thinking more of the "up" then the "over," just to create space and room to breathe along the top side of the ribcage Hold here and breathe, inhale and exhalegood, inhaleand exhale Helping yourself up to the other side, inhale, we reach up and elongate the spine

exhale, curving over just to create space from the ribcage open, breathe into that side of the bodyinhaleand exhalegood, one more breathand exhale

Passing back through center, we're going to add a little movement So we're going to round it over Feel your shoulder blades separate, your belly draw back

Now sitting forward, open your arms, flex your wrists, open your chest So there's a nerve that runs all the way across, so this gets that nice nerve connection to open the chest Now round it over again, really exaggerate Good, inhale open, flex the hands backwardexhale, like you're diving over a big beach ball, or your big giant belly, round it up Good, inhale open, heart opens, chest opens, fingers reach back

exhale, round it over Listen to your body, just go the point that feels good Let's do one more, open and reachexhale and round

Good, sitting nice and tall, find that stacked spine Take your left leg out to the side, keeping your right knee bent Again have it however you need to If this is uncomfortable for you, try propping a pillow or two up underneath your knee for support We're going to start first by angling towards your opposite, whatever shin is in front of you, just angle your torso that way

We're going to lift up and over that straight leg, again feeling the stretch all the way inside the body It should feel pretty good Inhale hereand exhale Good, now lifting up, stretch up and away, so we go up and back Again just move in a way that feels right to you

feels good And one more time, coming up and overand up and backgood

Coming back up, we're going to square our selves off as much as we can Your belly's likely going to go on the inside of your thigh, not right on top of it With a flat back, keep your foot flexed and hinge forward So this is about as far as I can go, right? Unless I round over So you want to feel like your tailbone is sticking out behind you, crown of the head is long

Getting this nice stretch down through your hamstring, hold and breathe And if you need to come a little bit more forward, it's totally fine Do what works for your body right now

Good, hold for two more breaths Good and walk it back up Let's go ahead and do the other side

Straighten the leg, sit nice and tall And already this is a stretch for me on the side, my right side has been really tight So we'll go right into it, take an inhaleas you exhale, stretching up and over the leg, keep your chest squared off toward me Go as far as you feel comfortablegood, and then stretch up and back, opening inhale

and exhale, again up over that leg Trying to keep both sit bones down onto the mat, knowing that might be a challenge for many of you It's fine

Just do what you can, listen to your body Here we go again, last time, opening up and back, and stretching up and over It feels so good, feels good just to move, right? So make it your own Move in a way that just feels right to you Okay, come back up through center

Here we're going to twist the torso With that flat back we're going to hinge forward Flexed foot, hinging forwardwhoo, I feel that down my hamstring, hopefully you guys do too If you don't, play with it and really make sure that you're keeping that flat back So if you go into the round back, you might lose it So hold there, breathe relax the shoulders good

One more breath and sit up nice and tall Okay now is a good time to grab either your pillows, your blankets, or your ball

If you're in the first trimester you can just lay on your back So this is just another way to kind of prop ourselves up so that we're not flat on our spine, which is something we want to avoid for long periods of time So I'm going to lean against my box, you can lean against whatever you have Cross the left ankle over the right thigh, and then bringing the right thigh in as close as possible to get this deep stretch through your hip So just hold and breathe here

this is really, really good for you to prevent sciatica or help with sciatica if you're dealing with that, which is really uncomfortable but very, very common during pregnancy So just hold this stretch as long as you need to feel itrelease through your hips, hold and breathe The bigger your belly, the further out your bottom foot

No big deal, just make it work for you right now Hold and breathe Good, let's take one more breath

and then just switch sides So you may notice during your pregnancy that you have one side that feels different than the other For me I had mentioned already that my right side is significantly tighter this time around

I'm not sure why but I'm just working with it, giving it a little bit of extra love, stretching it for a little bit longer, making sure to keep things balanced during my workouts Hold and breathe, feel those hips open up relax into it

good, one more breath Okay and then uncross those legs Have a seat, soles of your feet together, your knees open, and begin with a flat back Just hinge forward Another great way to just open the hips Long spine, picture your tailbone reaching back behind you

Head is long in line with your spine, not drooping forward Goodand then sit up nice and tall

You guys, we're done for the day Feel free to repeat this video whenever you feel like your body just needs to move Maybe before bed is a great time to do it, or first thing in the morning Don't forget to subscribe to my channel And I'll see you you back on your mat very soon!

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